Loosening Up

February 24, 2011

I’m the kind of person who likes to be in control of things. Not in a control-freak sort of way, just in the sense that I like to have as much information on things pertaining to my life as humanly possible. For instance, if there is a delay in the subway, I’d like to know

  • What happened
  • What station it happened at
  • If anyone was hurt, and if so, how badly
  • How long ago it happened
  • What’s happening now
  • When my train is expected to move again
  • When I’m likely to reach my final destination

And so on.

Basically, when I have a problem, I research and/or analyze it to death.

I think I’d make a good mastermind. Whether I’d be a criminal mastermind or a benevolent one remains to be seen.

However, I can drive myself crazy with my need to know. Because most of the time, there’s just no way for me to get all the details I’d like. Right now, there are some issues with the plumbing in my building. What caused them? When will they be fixed? Is there anything I personally can do to keep it from happening again?

I don’t know. But I’m slowly realizing, maybe I don’t need to know. Not all the time, anyway.

Maybe there’s something to be said for going with the flow. Somewhat paradoxically, I’m also a believer of the saying “If it’s meant to be, then it will happen.” If that’s true, then “it” will happen whether or not I’m breathing down its neck or straining on tiptoes to see if it’s coming. That’s not to say I’m advocating a passive approach to life. No, we certainly create our own opportunities.

The difference is recognizing what is within our control, and what is not. Subway delays? Not in my control, so it’s probably a waste of energy to worry about it. Querying agents? Choosing the one to whom I wish to submit is in my control, and therefore I can (and should) gather as much information as possible before acting. But once the letter’s the mail: it’s out of my control again.

The part of my nature that constantly creates and revises plans is probably here to stay. It’s just a matter of learning that you can’t really plan for unknowns. You can only trust that when they do crop up, things will work out… one way or the other.




  1. This post made me laugh, Arvik. I’m the same way, and maybe our desire to know, to ask all those questions, is what makes us writers. We need to know the whole back-story, front-story, sub-plots and themes to even those leaky pipes and delayed trains. Story threads…

    • Haha, thanks, I hadn’t thought of it that way. Makes me feel better about the whole thing- maybe instead of just obsessing over things like pipes, I can start pondering the diamond ring a gangster flushed down the toilet as the cops charged up the stairs… 😉

  2. I used to be on a “need to know” basis with everything and everyone ~ why did they do that? why did that happen? what’s going to happen next?

    It’s exhausting. Deciding that we no longer need to know all that there is to know is relaxing.

    Aah . . . that’s better.

    BTW: Linda is running a short story contest which might interest you . . . since you enjoy Science Fiction and Aliens.

    Here’s the link:


    • Ooh, thanks, I’ll definitely take a look at that!

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